2019 DC United vs Toronto FC

Late Rooney Penalty Salvages DCU A Point In 1-1 Draw With TFC

Late Rooney Penalty Salvages DCU A Point In 1-1 Draw With TFC

Nick DeLeon's first-half goal was almost enough for Toronto FC to defeat D.C. United, but a late Wayne Rooney penalty split the spoils.

Jun 30, 2019 by Steven Streff
Late Rooney Penalty Salvages DCU A Point In 1-1 Draw With TFC

A stoppage-time penalty from Wayne Rooney helped D.C. United earn a 1-1 draw on Saturday night at Audi Field against Toronto FC. Former United midfielder Nick DeLeon gave the visitors the lead in the 19th minute, scoring in his first game back at Buzzard Point. United were spared their third loss at home this year though in stoppage time after a penalty was awarded from a video review.

Ayo Akinola was judged to have pulled down center back Frederic Brillant on a late corner. After initially waving play on, Robert Sibiga went to the monitor and awarded United the penalty. Rooney converted from the spot for his 10th goal of the MLS campaign.

Head coach Ben Olsen made two changes to the starting lineup after Wednesday's 1-0 win over Orlando City. Chris McCann started for the injured Joseph Mora at left back, while Zoltan Stieber played in place of Chris Durkin, with Lucas Rodriguez taking over Durkin's role in midfield.

A mistake from TFC keeper Quentin Westberg should have allowed United to take the lead in the 16th minute. Collecting a back pass, Westberg was not able to get away from the pressure by Luciano Acosta, who won the ball near the end line and played back to Wayne Rooney. With Westberg still scrambling, Rooney couldn't find the target with his shot.

That miss stung even more three minutes later, when DeLeon scored in his return to Audi Field. Right back Richie Layrea was able to get around challenges from Stieber and McCann to get into the box, making way for an easy centering pass. DeLeon, unmarked, made no mistake stabbing his shot past Bill Hamid for the 1-0 lead in the 19th minute. 

With just six home games remaining in the regular season, the Black-and-Red really needed to find a way to pick up all three points against the Reds. But after the goal, the visitors did well to stifle United for most of the rest of the first half. Westberg had to punch away a Rooney free kick in the 26th minute and then had to punch away a Steven Birnbaum header in the 38th minute, but United never got any closer to scoring in the first stanza. 

Olsen brought on Marquinhos Pedroso to start the second half, but TFC's backline continued to be tough to break down. The one time United did find a way through came in the 58th minute, but before Stieber could pull the trigger on a shot, Justin Morrow tackled the ball away just in front of goal.

Two minutes later, Hamid had to be at his best to deny Toronto a second goal. A counter attack almost broke down for the Reds, but DeLeon kept the chance alive, playing back to Tsubasa Endoh outside the box. The midfielder's stinging shot was headed on target, before Hamid got just enough on the ball to push it wide of the goal. 

In the 71st minute, Durkin, who replaced Stieber, was able to find Rooney outside the box in a decent position. United's No. 9 worked open a shooting lane, sending his shot straight at Westberg, as the defense was able to clear away the danger from the rebound.

A defeat seemed to be on the horizon when United won a pair of corner kicks late on. On the second one, United appealed for a penalty for a foul on Frederic Brillant. It wasn't originally given, but after a video review, the penalty was awarded for a foul by Ayo Akinola.

Rooney stepped up to the spot, and made no mistake, converting for his 10th goal of the season to give the Black-and-Red a share of the spoils on an otherwise disappointing night. 

With the draw, United have 31 points from 19 games. They are back in action on Thursday, when they travel to Frisco, Texas to take on FC Dallas.